The Murphys at Murphy and Son Ltd

Albert John Murphy

Murphy and Son has been at the heart of the brewing community since 1887.

Albert John Murphy was born in the St James district of Bristol on the 20th of September 1857 to James Murphy and Mary Ann Jerfferies. The youngest of seven siblings, AJ learned the trade through his time as a brewing chemist for Sutton and Phillips in the 1880’s. Seven years later he used this knowledge to set up the fledgling company the Vanguard Chemical Works based in Leeds pioneering the liquor treatments for Burtonisation.

As well as researching ground-breaking techniques and products for the brewing industry AJ gardening developed formulations for his passion of gardening including the still available Murphy’s Tumbleweed. By this time he had married Emily Grace Newton, between them they had five children; Harold, Grace, Bertha, Phyllis and Alice.

AJ was among the first to realise the importance of formulating individual’s water treatment regimes to enhance the water supply for beer qualities because of this he founded the Bureau of Biotechnology specialising in teaching the fundamentals of brewing. The range of products offered expanded rapidly to include preservatives, fining agents, cleaning products and yeast foods.fv

A change of name happened in 1911 turning the Vanguard Chemical Works into Murphy and Lonsdale then finally in 1918 into Murphy and Son. AJ’s son, Harold Newton Murphy, eventually left the business to set up a car dealership while the Lonsdales moved to America to set up business links. After his passing on August 26th 1940 the business was put into a trust for AJ’s descendants. This is still the case today with 97% of the shares being owned by the trust.

 

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